Cyberattack Causes Newspaper Printing Disruptions in the U.S
Printing and delivery of major newspapers in the U.S have been disrupted following a cyberattack, according to reports.
A Reuters report dated December 30, 2018 states, “A cyber attack caused major printing and delivery disruptions on Saturday at the Los Angeles Times and other major U.S. newspapers, including ones owned by Tribune Publishing Co (TPCO.O) such as the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun.”
The Los Angeles Times reported, on Saturday (Dec 29), “What first arose as a server outage was identified Saturday as a malware attack, which appears to have originated from outside the United States and hobbled computer systems and delayed weekend deliveries of the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers across the country”.
The report says that though tech teams worked hard to quarantine the malware, it spread through the Tribune Publishing network and also re-infected systems that were crucial to the news production and printing processes. Thus, many newspapers that shared a common production platform were hit.
“The attack delayed distribution of Saturday editions of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune. It also stymied distribution of the West Coast editions of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, which are printed at the Los Angeles Times’ Olympic printing plant in downtown Los Angeles”, reads the Los Angeles Times report.
The malware was first detected on Friday (Dec 28) by Tribune Publishing, which owns the Chicago Tribune and the Sun, as well as the New York Daily News and Orlando Sentinel.
The Reuters report says that as per Marisa Kollias, spokeswoman for Tribune Publishing, the malware had hit the back-office systems that were used to publish and produce newspapers. Marisa Kollias is also quoted as stating that there is no evidence of customer credit card information or personally identifiable information being compromised.
“The Wall Street Journal and New York Times did not immediately respond to requests for comment”, reads the Reuters report. It further says, “Most San Diego Union-Tribune subscribers were without a newspaper on Saturday as the virus infected the company’s business systems and hobbled its ability to publish, the paper’s editor and publisher Jeff Light wrote on its website”.
The report also quotes from a statement by Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security; it reads- “We are aware of reports of a potential cyber incident affecting several news outlets, and are working with our government and industry partners to better understand the situation.”
No comments, as of yet, have been given by the representatives of the FBI.
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Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.